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An independent post-rock group whose music is steeped in cool textures that blend electronic and organic sounds, Epic45 was formed in 1995 by longtime friends Ben Holton and Robert Glover. Based in Staffordshire, England, a town in the rural Midlands, Epic45 came together when Holton (guitars and keyboards) and Glover (guitar and bass) were only 13 years old. Influenced by the more adventurous aspects of Mogwai and Spiritualized, Epic45 began playing out in 1998, and released their debut vinyl EP, Shorebound, in 1999. Recorded with the participation of drummer Mark Oldfield and keyboardist Scott Massey, the EP earned airplay on John Peel's fabled BBC radio show, and emboldened the youngsters to pursue music as a career.
Soon the group was sharing stages with noted acts such as Muse, Rothko, and Do Make Say Think, and in 2001 Epic45 released their first full-length album, Secrets, Signs and Threats. (The album might have come out sooner, but Holton and Glover had to take time off from recording to finish their A-level exams at school.) While they worked with other musicians on-stage and in the studio, Holton and Glover were always the core of Epic45, and by the time they released May Your Heart Be the Map in 2007, they were the sole constant members of the group and played nearly all the instruments on their recordings. Epic45 proved to be prolific in the recording studio, releasing a wealth of singles, EPs, and limited-edition releases between albums, as well as launching occasional concert tours. In 2011, the group released the album Weathering, and the following year, they issued an alternate version, Weathered, in which they invited like-minded musicians to "weather" the tracks to suggest they'd been subject to the wear and tear of age. When not occupied with Epic45, Holton records with his side project My Autumn Empire, while he and Glover have released material under the rubric Portraits of Diego. ~ Mark Deming
- Birmingham, England
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